The figure of the total population of each country is drawn
from the global estimates listed in the
CIA World Factbook
unless otherwise stated. Statistics describing the country’s
linguistic, religious and ethnic demographics are based on
its most recent national census. However, if these statistics
are out-dated, unavailable, unreliable, or the country’s
statistical department does not formally gather information
on the categories listed, the Cultural Atlas substitutes
the most recent global estimates cited in the CIA World Factbook.
You can find a direct link to all these sources under the ‘References’
tab at the bottom of the page, as well as the date this profile was published
(indicating when these statistics were last updated).
Welcome to the Cultural Atlas
The Indigenous people of Australia are the traditional custodians of the land, having inhabited it for an estimated 80,000 years before it was colonised. In the late 18th century, British officials established the country as a penal colony for the convicts of the British Isles. As the land was colonised, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations were dispossessed of their land and their societies were fractured and marginalised. The social makeup of the country was dramatically changed and a European-like cultural mainstream came to be established. The following cultural information depicts this newly dominant culture – a Westernised society whose values have been influenced by continual migration to the Australian continent in the last 250 years.